Digital Audio Players based purely on SQ
Mar 18, 2007 at 8:33 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

canadiandude

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Two days ago my 3rd gen iPod crapped out on me. Now you may ask why a 3rd gen iPod owner cares about sound quality, well I say that is because I bought it about 3 or 4 years ago.

So I have been scouring the Internet looking for tests on such players, and came across this interesting article here. Now obviously this is not the be-all and end-all of tests to be done, but as said in the article it is not the distortion or the frequency response that is an issue when plugged into a high impedance testing rig. But the problem arises with the driving power of many of these players.

very interesting was the results of the iPod shuffle, however I vaguely remember reading something about the iPod shuffle having superior sound quality but never thought twice about it.

Now looking on many message boards I repeatedly see these players being brought up.
-Kenwood HD30GB9
-Rio Karma
-iRiver
-Zune
But never is there any accompanying tests to prove this, it is purely based on perception.
Now if I did not care anything about features or customization of todays DAP's but *purely* sound quality, what would you say are todays worthy contenders, either based on the ability to speculate on pictures such as these, or with tests.
any links to such tests would be helpful or anybody willing to do such tests would be greatly appreciated.

I bring all of this up because of all the unfounded claims I see being made (not just here) when the point of message boards like this is to discuss based on fact.
I very much look forward to your responses!
 
Mar 18, 2007 at 9:22 PM Post #2 of 5

Molondro

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Quote:

Originally Posted by canadiandude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I bring all of this up because of all the unfounded claims I see being made (not just here) when the point of message boards like this is to discuss based on fact.
I very much look forward to your responses!



Don't mean to open a can of worms here, but first we should establish what defines when a player sounds good and what is sound quality...

You ask for facts, but the fact is that subjectivity plays a huge role in determining sound quality. Aspects of sound like soundstage, detail, warmth, etc. must be felt differently by many different people, and while some people may enjoy a detailed sound, others may find it fatiguing for example.

A quality sound is the one that pleases you, and you can only find a DAP that gives you that sound by hearing different players.
 
Mar 18, 2007 at 9:40 PM Post #3 of 5

canadiandude

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I guess you are right, I assumed that the definition of "sound quality" was implicitly defined by my examples. But basically all I can expect from a DAP is to as closely as possible represent the waveform given to it under loaded conditions. I guess this would result mostly in a more revealing sound if you will, I find this to be a positive characteristic. Also accurately representing the data sent to it would have to have better transient response, eg things like strumming, snare's. I feel that delicate things such as soundstage cant really be expected from these type of devices.
Hopefully that answers your questions about what "good SQ" is for portable devices.
 
Mar 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM Post #5 of 5

bludragon

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FYI, you do not want anything to reproduce a square wave into your headphones. The flat top of the square wave is effectively DC, which should be filtered out by the player, as it can burn out speakers. You don't see the proper effect of this filter without a load, which is why the images look so different when you plug headphones in.
 

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